by Christy Bieber | March 26, 2020
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Unemployment benefits can help see you through the coronavirus crisis if you lose your job.
The novel coronavirus has caused a widespread shutdown of economic activity in most parts of the U.S. Many Americans are expected to experience a job loss. If you're one of them, unemployment benefits could help ensure you still have money in the bank.
If you've lost your job in the nation's capital, this guide can help you get the benefits you need.
Unemployment benefits in Washington D.C. are available if you meet certain work history requirements and:
If you provide documentation showing that your unemployment is related to the coronavirus pandemic, then you don't have to actively seek work to qualify for unemployment benefits. You'll also be able to qualify if you're unable to work due to a COVID-19 quarantine or self-isolation order.
The work history requirements are based on how often you worked and how much you earned during a "base period." This is a 12-month period covering a specific time frame depending on when you claim unemployment. For example:
You must have earned wages during at least two quarters of your base period, and combined wages during the full base period must add up to at least $1,950. You must also have earned at least $1,300 during a single quarter in your base period, and total wages earned during your base period must not be less than $70 below one-and-a-half times the wages earned in your highest quarter.
Those seeking unemployment are encouraged to file online and can do so at www.dcnetworks.org. To file:
You'll need to provide basic information when completing the online claim form, including:
You will receive a weekly benefit equal to 1/26th of your wages during the quarter of the base period when you earned the most. If you earned $9,000 during that quarter, benefits would equal $346. There's also a maximum benefit limit of $444 per week.
You can receive unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks total in Washington, D.C. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks.
If your unemployment claim is denied, you can file an appeal with the Appeals Unit of the Office of Unemployment Compensation. You can find the appeals forms here:
Include a copy of the decision you're appealing when submitting the form. Once it's received, a hearing will be scheduled that you can attend to appeal your claim denial.
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